It’s a beautiful late Sunday afternoon and I’m watching the sun set behind the trees across our little cove of lake. Earlier this afternoon I felt the first hint of spring in the air, that indefinable scent or feel, somehow different from a winter day with the same weather. Perhaps it’s a slight change in the look of the sunlight or the stirring of the animals. We have a bluebird couple at our suet and a flock of cedar waxwings stripped our holly bushes bare last week. A few daffodils and crocus are popping up and their bright colors on the rather monochrome landscape seems especially cheery. Geese and ducks have been absent for a while and this afternoon I can see several little groups floating around.
Tomorrow’s forecast is rain, thunderstorms and winds, with the days following in the 40’s/30’s. Since I’m seeing posts from people trying to decide to run inside or out with a 13″ snowfall I have no problems with our forecast returning to winter for a few days. It will fight its way back.
Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5am – not a completely indecent time of day. And it wasn’t a kleighorn blaring like an oncoming cruise ship, which made the entire transition smoother.
I did question what I was doing, thinking I could do another half. Yet there I was, and there was hubs, and there we were in the car on the way to Oxford, Mississippi at 5:45 am in order to make race day packet pickup. It was little surprise when we got there and it was grey, cloudy, 34 degrees and windy.
This race had everything in common with the Greenville race: cold, grey, windy; fantastic volunteers, very well-organized, excellent course support, cheering townspeople; endless beer and pizza at the end. So, to one-up Greenville, Oxford, however far in the distant past, decided to be built, not in the delta, but in the rolling hills of middle Mississippi. Unfortunately, I overlooked that fact.
My main concern going into the race was that I wasn’t in shape for these hills. It didn’t occur to me that my butt would attempt to fall off at mile 9. Butt has been behaving so well lately.
There has to be something in the stride going uphill which pulls that piriformis/sciatic nerve and I’m truly looking forward to talking to Dr. K about this next time I see him. He loves to talk about his work and explains everything so well. I find it fascinating so I’m a good audience. I like knowing the how and why as I’m sure you do.
Sure enough, by mile 10 I was walking every hill not because I didn’t have the strength to run them, as I’d worried, but because my leg was singing soprano. Who needs an iPod? I was mad because I was scared, and every negative tape that could possibly play in my head got air time. I walked the final (uphill) 1/2 mile to the finish line. Poor hubs, smiling at me, and all I could say is “I have nothing good I can say right now”. Pizza, a small beer and dry clothes went a long way. We headed home and I wiggled and twitched the entire way. Butt was definitely feeling worse. I cared – but I didn’t. I knew this was part of fighting my way back, one way or the other.
We had a wonderful Saturday afternoon running errands and celebrating the 3rd birthday of the B’ster. There’s no way to feel in the dumps watching a three-year old open gifts of cars and trains and spooning in pizza and ice cream with chocolate sauce. I look in those beautiful dark eyes full of total joy and melt. I hold it in my heart and try to absorb it.
Yesterday evening hubs was online. “Terri, it looks like you’re 3rd in your age group.”
WTHeck? Sure enough, none of the fast women showed up and someone Mastered out of the age group. I placed third. I’m not being facetious here, I know my time and I know the area runners. I placed because they were not there.
I don’t care. LALALALALALALA! I placed! Happy Dance! At mile 10, if I’d known where the finish line was, I would have thought about walking off the course. I wouldn’t have walked off, but I would have given it some very serious consideration.
I will take that finish and 3rd place and put a bow on it.
AND – this morning Butt was back to where it was before the race, still there but much better. I’m less stiff and sore from the race than I was from Greenville two weeks ago!
The joy of this is not only in the running. The joy is that I’m learning to work with this. I’d like to be a person who can immediately stick an issue in the correct slot in my brain and not go off track, but apparently I’m not. I expect most people are the same way but I’m not trying to figure them out, I’m trying to figure me out. I don’t know where the manual is. Maybe when we die part of the afterlife is that we all get our owner’s manuals back and everything finally works and makes sense. I hope so. Still, I’m happy that despite the fact I could not think of anything good to say at the end of that race, I eventually shook it off. It took a while, and some focus, but I made peace with whatever the next day would bring.
I’m growing, I’m learning, I’m changing.
At this juncture of winter and spring, as we begin to see the promise of new or renewed life, the somber greys/browns slowing budding with fresh green, the bright yellow or purple of buds frozen in the earth, what promise do you see in your life? What new growth do you reach for?